Climate and Societal Interactions

A CSI-funded researcher interviews a rancher in Hawai’i to better understand the impacts of drought on her ranch operations. Credit: V. Keener

A CSI-funded researcher interviews a rancher in Hawai’i to better understand the impacts of drought on her ranch operations. Credit: V. Keener

The Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI) Division’s mission is to improve resilience and preparedness in diverse socio-economic regions and sectors throughout the US and abroad through the use of climate knowledge and information. Our research advances the nation’s understanding of climate-related risks and vulnerabilities across sectors and regions, and the development of tools to foster more informed decision making. These efforts support NOAA's vision to create and sustain enhanced resilience in ecosystems, communities, and economies.

Science for Adaptation

CSI-supported research seeks to generate the knowledge, tools, and institutional networks that enhance society’s capacity to anticipate, plan for, and adapt to climate impacts. By supporting partnerships between scientists and stakeholders, CSI enhances the capacity of decision makers to effectively co-produce and utilize climate information in risk management, adaptation, and sustainable development. Our focus complements the work of the physical science research and development portfolio across NOAA by using insights from social science research to interpret, synthesize, and apply climate data, analysis, and observations.

Building Capacity and Partnerships

The establishment of partnerships with other agencies and organizations to jointly support these goals is an important element of our work. CSI staff play a critical role in brokering both knowledge and partnerships to support the mission and objectives of the Division, contributing to efforts such as the US Global Change Research Program, the National Climate Assessment, the President’s Climate Action Plan, and numerous other interagency and scientific efforts focused on resilience and adaptation. Finally, CSI plays a pivotal role in supporting research and development activities for the Coping with Drought initiative of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).

CSI comprises the following programs:

Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA)

COCA addresses the needs of decision-makers dealing with pressing climate-related issues in coastal and marine environments. The program is designed to support interdisciplinary teams of researchers in the development and transition of climate-related research and information to advance the resilience of coastal communities and coastal and marine ecosystems.

Contacts: Adrienne Antoine



International Research and Applications Project (IRAP)

IRAP supports international activities to link climate research and assessments to practical risk management, development and adaptation challenges in several regions throughout the world.

Contact: Lisa Vaughan



Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA)

RISA supports regional research teams across the U.S. that conduct innovative, interdisciplinary, stakeholder-driven, and regionally relevant research that informs resource management, planning, and public policy.

Contacts: Caitlin Simpson, Chelsea Combest-Friedman



Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP)

SARP addresses the needs of specific stakeholder(s) within key socioeconomic sectors grappling with pressing climate-related issues. Current funded research efforts are focused on water resources and extreme events as well as the Coping With Drought initiative in support of NIDIS.

Contact: Nancy Beller-Simms, Lauren Gentile

Contact COCA

Adrienne Antoine
Program Manager, Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA)
P: (301) 734-1201
F: (301) 713-0518

Contact IRAP

Lisa Vaughan
Program Manager, International Research and Applications Project (IRAP)
P: 1 (301) 734-1277
F: 1 (301) 713-0518

Contact RISA

Caitlin Simpson
Director, RISA Program (Acting)
P: 301-734-1251

Chelsea Combest-Friedman
Social Scientist, RISA
P: (301) 734-1240
E: chelsea.combest_

Sean Bath (UCAR)
Program Specialist, RISA
P: (301) 734-1294

Contact SARP

Dr. Nancy Beller-Simms
Program Manager, SARP- Extreme Events, SARP - Coping with Drought in Support of NIDIS, NIDIS/SARP Drought Risk Management Research Center
P: 1 (301) 734-1205
F: 1 (301) 713-0518

Contact Special Projects & Support


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.